For the Long Run - English countryside

Wednesday evening I went to the annual meeting of my old triathlon club, Tri-Force. I had meant to find time to catch-up with Trace but it wasn't to be. We had a quick chat, but many of the club went off to swim or to a spin class after the meeting. Then I was going to go to the club swim session Thursday evening, but instead I arranged to meet up with Oli, Lauren and Wendy for dinner, which was much nicer.

I managed to get out for a 5-mile run before they came, and next morning went to the Herts Sports Village and swam there instead. Net, net it meant I hadn't had time to catch-up with Trace. I emailed him and late in the day got a response, he was running Saturday morning, so I called and arranged to go with him. I figured I wouldn't have any trouble keeping up, after Trace had gone through 2-years cancer treatment, was at least 12-years older than me. I collected him at 8:45 and we drove to the start point in Burnham Green; two of Trace's Garden City Runner friends showed up and after brief introductions we set off.

It was a true English cross country run. I hadn't worn any socks as I didn't expect to be doing much, to my surprise, my feet were cold and wet within the first mile. We did a run that cut across numerous fields, on old lanes, and eventually turned around at Astonbury House, a three-storeyed Jacobean mansion, dating in part from c.1540. This was real running in the English countryside, a historic house with an ancient right of way that allowed us to run down their drive and off across the estate. I glanced at my watch, 6.5-miles. In the background, the sound of shotguns, early morning, the smell of spring in the air.

After a few more fields, one where my shoes picked up at least a couple of pounds of heavy mud, a longish run back up a country lane we were coming back to the village where we started. I was starting to stiffen up and slow down, I was having trouble keeping up with the others, they slowed. Apparently the last detour was going to be across a footpath along the outside of an iron-age field, but it was a field too far for me. Trace and I ran back to the car along the lane. A great run, good company, totally English.

It was my longest run since Half-Ironman Florida in June 2006, I don't count the marathon at the end of the Ironman distance Longest Day triathlon in July 2006, I walked 2/3 of that I think. My legs actually feel pretty good today.

Stats for the day:
Distance: 8.94-miles
Time: 1:37:23
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